Trisha’s Take: The “Big Bang” problem

The beginning of this blog post and this review has been very difficult for me to write, so I’m just going to come out and say it:

I think that Wil Wheaton is wrong about “The Big Bang Theory,” aka TBBT.

As people who admire Wil Wheaton’s work know, he’s had several very fun guest appearances on the show as “Evil Wil Wheaton,” the alternate universe version of himself who for several years was main character Sheldon’s nemesis, helped further along the initial break-up between Penny and Leonard, used his fame to line-jump during a midnight screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark that had 21 extra seconds of footage, and then finally get off the “shit-list” by giving to Sheldon a mint-in-box Wesley Crusher action figure, and that’s just the first iteration of the guest character’s story arc.

When he threw open the comments on a blog entry about the show to people who had questions about his first guest appearance, the following exchange took place:

Q: I think TBBT has really made geek chic in some respects, which I’m all for! Do you think the show’s had an impact making geeks more mainstream and funny?

Wheaton: I think it’s part of the general uncloseting of geeks, if that makes sense.

It’s no secret that I originally thought BBT was making fun of us, and I couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t until late in the first season that I gave it a real chance and ended up seeing that it was laughing *with* us and not *at* us. I love that the show embraces its geekiness, refuses to dumb down its humor, and manages to find a balance between mainstream and nerd humor. That’s a lot harder than it seems, and is sort of like playing Comedy Operation. If you touch the sides, the audience’s red nose lights up and instead of laughing, there’s a loud buzzing noise. It isn’t pretty.

Based on those words alone, I put “The Big Bang Theory” on my list of shows that were kind to geeks and science; however, some opinion pieces I saw earlier this year had me questioning his words. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: The “Big Bang” problem”

Trisha’s Link of the Day: New tools for both spies and freedom fighters alike

Police detain a protestor in the wake of the 2009 Iranian Election * Image courtesy of a Creative Commons license

When you think of the tools in a modern-day spy or investigative journalist’s toolbox, you picture tiny lipstick cameras or gigantic rooms housing servers dedicated to encryption and decryption. Now, thanks to a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, you can now add Yahoo!-owned photo hosting site Flickr and a home PC to that box.

According to Jim Giles at New, grad student Sam Burnett, assistant professor Nick Feamster, and professor Santosh Vempala have created a system that will allow a user to encrypt several news stories into digital images which can be uploaded to Flickr or perhaps any other widely used Internet .jpg hosting site.

Dubbed Collage, this program will be available for wide use in “a few weeks,” though the New article says it was available four days ago.

Though Mike Spector and Lauren A.E. Schuker at the Wall Street Journal say we’re about a month away from the rescue of the James Bond franchise (and other films and franchises) from ailing movie studio MGM by Spyglass Entertainment, I can’t stop thinking about what new and interesting gadgets, tools, and techniques will crop up in that film.

And considering that “Leverage” creator and writer John Rogers has said many times that he and his researchers find that what’s going on in reality is far more stranger than what they concoct for their idealized Crime World, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hardison hasn’t already downloaded this program into his hacker arsenal… just to be on top of things, you know?

Trisha’s Video of the Day: Where Randall Munroe will never, ever go

The Masquerade at this weekend’s San Diego Comic Con will undoubtedly feature some awesome feats of costumery and stagecraft; however, I think these guys have got them beat:

Part of the Calgaray Zoo’s summer exhibition called “Dinosaurs Alive!”, the costumes and this skit alone are enough to make anyone want to plan a trip to Alberta, Canada this summer. Now open till October 31.